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AfDB and Mo Ibrahim Foundation support Sierra Leone in fighting bribery

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone under the auspices of Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma organized a two day high level dialogue on the State of Good Governance in Africa with special emphasis on Sierra Leone on February 20-21, 2014. The high level dialogue was organized based on three separate but interconnected and reinforcing objectives focused on promoting good governance, enhancing citizen participation and disseminating knowledge.

The dialogue forum provided a platform for the AfDB to present its new Governance Strategy: 2014-2018 (GAP II) with government stakeholders, non-state actors, the private sector and development partners. In his welcome address, the Director of the AfDB’s Governance, Economic and Financial Management Department, Isaac Lobe indicated that the AfDB’s new Governance Strategy provides the strategic direction of its governance agenda in Africa over the next five years. Patricia Laverley, Task Manager for the AfDB’s new Governance Strategy presented the strategic framework and relevance for supporting governance reforms outlined in Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Prosperity (A4P).

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation presented its  2013 Mo Ibrahim Index (IIAG) and analyzed Sierra Leone’s performance vis-à-vis its peers at the regional level.  Abdoulie Janneh the Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation indicated that Sierra Leone ranked 31 out of 52 African countries. He noted that Sierra Leone was ranked among the top five ‘most improved’ countries along with Liberia, Angola, Rwanda and Burundi all of which are post-conflict countries that have recovered from fragility. He reiterated that while Sierra Leone had done remarkably well in the promotion of human rights and access to justice, challenges persist in human development.

The Government of Sierra Leone launched its “Pay No Bribe Campaign” during the event. This new initiative seeks to minimize bribery at the national level through intensive sensitization on the effects of bribery and is a direct response to the public perception survey undertaken by Transparency International which indicated high levels of bribery. President Ernest Bai Koroma delivered the key note address and launched the “No Pay Bribe Campaign”.  A Memorandum of Understanding in the amount of £ 4.6 million was signed by Richard Konteh (representing the Government of Sierra Leone) Joseph Kamara (Anti-Corruption Commissioner) and Cynthia Rowe (DFID’s Governance Adviser) to support the “Pay No Bribe Campaign” over the next five years. This national anti-bribery effort is a key milestone in the government’s fight against national graft. The event marked the distribution of service charters to create public awareness on basic services offered by the Government of Sierra Leone with clear information on how to prevent the incidence of bribery in the country.

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